If you read nothing else today, read this!

I haven’t been blogging for a while because I have been going through some very trying times with one of my sons.

It has been heart wrenching, draining and all-consuming.

A mother’s love NEVER gives up.

I wanted to share a passage with my boys from one of my favorite books, The Greatest Miracle in the World by Og Mandino. I feel the message is something that every teenager needs to hear. I knew that it would be difficult for them to read and understand, so I rewrote the passage as an act of love.

The truth is that the message below is for all of us.

Please share it with your loved ones and your children… with anyone who is struggling with depression, loneliness, being bullied, feeling worthless or having thoughts of suicide.

This will always be, in my opinion, one of the most life changing messages you will ever read.

Much love,

Erin

 

 

 

To: You

From: God (Your higher power, the universe or however you perceive God)

 

Know this, I hear your cry.

 

It passes through the darkness, filters through the clouds, mingles with starlight, and finds its way to my heart on the path of a sunbeam.

 

I have anguished over your pain and your cry.

 

Know that I hear you.

 

Be at peace.

Be calm.

 

I bring relief to your sorrow for I know its cause… and its cure.

 

The passing years have filled your mind with fear and doubt and anxiety and remorse and hate. There is little room for joyful memories where these beasts habitate.

 

Cry no more.

 

I am with you.

 

Let me share with you, again, the secret you heard at birth and forgot.

 

You are my greatest miracle.

You are the greatest miracle in the world.

 

Those were the first words you ever heard. Then you cried. They all cry.

 

You did not believe me then… and you do not believe me now.

 

How could you be a miracle when you have made mistakes, when you have lacked confidence and when you have failed?

 

Enough.

I still love you.

 

You have been told that you are special, that you have infinite possibilities and gifts… like an angel in action, you are divinity in disguise.

 

You have been told that you are the salt of the earth.

 

You were given the secret to move mountains, to perform the impossible.

 

You didn’t believe me.

 

The consequences of your own thoughts and deeds lead you to look for a scapegoat on which to blame your failure.

 

You blamed me.

You were wrong.

 

Let us take inventory of your blessings.

 

Are you blind?

No. You can see… and the hundred million receptors I have placed in your eyes enable you to enjoy the magic of a leaf, a snowflake, a pond, an eagle, a child, a cloud, a star, a rose, a rainbow… and the look of love.

Count one blessing.

 

Are you deaf?

 

No. You can hear… and the twenty-four thousand fibers I have built in each of your ears vibrate to the wind in the trees, the tides on the rocks, the majesty of music, a robin’s song, children at play… and the words I love you.

Count another blessing.

 

Are you mute?

 

No. You can speak… as can no other of my creatures and your words can calm the angry, uplift the despondent, inspire the quitter, cheer the unhappy, warm the lonely, praise the worthy, encourage the defeated, teach the struggling student… and say I love you.

Count another blessing.

 

Are you paralyzed?

 

No. You can move. You can stretch and run and dance and work, for within you I have designed five hundred muscles, two hundred bones, and seven miles of nerve fiber all synchronized by me so you can move.

Count another blessing.

 

Are you unloved and unloving?

 

No. No more. Love’s greatest secret is, to receive love it must be given with no thought of its return. To love for fulfillment, satisfaction, or pride is not love. Love is a gift on which no return is demanded. Now you know that to love unselfishly is its own reward. And even if love is not returned it is not lost, for love not reciprocated will flow back to you and soften and purify your heart.

Count another blessing.

Count twice.

 

Is your heart weak?

 

No. Your heart is strong. Touch your chest and feel its rhythm, pulsating, hour after hour, day and night, thirty-six million beats each year, asleep or awake, pumping blood through more than sixty thousand miles of veins, arteries, and tubing… pumping more than six hundred thousand gallons each year. Man has never created such a machine.

Count another blessing.

 

Do you have a skin disease?

 

No. Your skin is a marvel of creation, you need only wash it with soap and water. In time all steels tarnish and rust, but not your skin. Eventually the strongest of metals will wear, with use, but not the layer of skin that I have constructed around you. Constantly it renews itself, old cells replaced by new, just as the old you, replaced by the new. Everyday a new day to reinvent yourself.

Count another blessing.

 

Are you unable to breathe?

 

No. Your lungs are the portholes to life. They support you even in the vilest environments and they labor always to filter life-giving oxygen through six hundred million pockets of folded flesh while they rid your body of gaseous wastes.

Count another blessing.

 

Do you have blood poisoning?

 

No. Within your five quarts of blood are twenty-two trillion blood cells and within each cell are millions of molecules and within each molecule is an atom oscillating at more than ten million times each second. Each second, two million of your blood cells die to be replaced by two million more in a resurrection that has continued since your birth.

Count another blessing.

 

Are you feeble of mind?

 

No. You can think for yourself. Your brain is the most complex structure in the universe. I know. Within its three pounds are thirteen billion nerve cells, more than three times as many as there are people on earth. To help you file every perception, every sound, every taste, every smell, every action you have experienced since the day of your birth, I have implanted, within your cells, more than one thousand billion protein molecules. Every incident in your life is there waiting only your recall. And, to assist your brain in the control of your body I have dispersed, throughout your form, four million pain-sensitive structures, five hundred thousand touch detectors, and more than two hundred thousand temperature detectors. You are my finest creation.

Count your blessings.

 

Are you poor?

 

No. You are rich! Together we have just counted your wealth. Study the list. Count your blessings again and tally your assets!

If you have answered yes to any of the above questions, know that I have given you countless more blessings for the above blessings that you lack.

You have talent, abilities, pleasures, instincts, sensations, pride and hope.

You have the power to change your life.

You have so much. Your blessings overflow from your cup for I have bestowed them upon you with much generosity and regularity.

 

What rich man, old and sick, feeble and helpless, would not exchange all the gold in his vault for the blessings you take so lightly?

 

Never in all the seventy billion humans who have walked this planet since the beginning of time has there been another exactly like you.

Never, until the end of time, will there be another such as you.

You don’t understand or appreciate your uniqueness.

Yet, you are the rarest thing in the world.

 

From your father, in his moment of supreme love, flowed countless seeds of love, more than four hundred million in number. All of them swam within your mother, gave up the chase and died.

All except one. You!

You alone persevered within the loving warmth of your mother’s body, searching for your other half, a single cell from your mother so small that more than two million would be necessary to fill an acorn shell. Yet, despite impossible odds, in that vast ocean of darkness, you persevered, found the minuscule cell, joined with it, and began a new life.

 

YOUR life.

Two cells now united in a miracle.

Two cells, each containing twenty-three chromosomes and within each chromosome hundreds of genes, which would govern every characteristic about you, from the color of your eyes to the charm of your manner, to the size of your brain.

With all the combinations at my command, beginning with that single sperm from your father’s four hundred million, through the hundreds of genes in each of the chromosomes from your mother and father, I could have created three hundred thousand billion humans, each different from the other.

 

But who did I bring forth?

 

YOU!

 

One of a kind.

Rarest of rare.

A priceless treasure, possessed of qualities in mind and speech and movement and appearance and actions as no other who has ever lived, lives, or shall live.

 

Why do you value yourself in pennies when you are worth a fortune?

 

Why do you listen to others who bully you and put you down, and why do you believe them?

 

No longer hide your rarity in the dark.

Bring it forth.

Show the world.

 

Don’t strive to be like your friends. Never imitate others. Be yourself. Show your rarity to the world and they will shower you with gold.

 

For all the rules and speeches and scriptures on success and how to attain it, only one method has never failed… Go the extra mile.

 

The only certain means of success is to render more and better service than is expected of you, no matter what the task may be. This is a habit that has been followed by all successful people since the beginning of time. The surest way to doom yourself to mediocrity is to perform only the work for which you are paid.

 

Go the extra mile.

 

Don’t think you are being cheated if you deliver more than the small portion you receive. There is a pendulum to all of life and the sweat you deliver, if not rewarded today, the pendulum will swing back tomorrow and deliver tenfold.

The mediocre never go the extra mile. If you only do as little as others, the responsibility for your failure is yours alone.

Do not be concerned if you serve an ungrateful boss. Serve him more. Go the extra mile.

You cannot command success, you can only deserve it.

 

 

To count your blessings with gratitude, to proclaim your rarity with pride, to go the extra mile and then another, these acts are not accomplished in the blink of an eye.

Be patient with yourself and your progress.

Things that you acquire with the most difficulty you retain the longest; just as those who have worked to earn a fortune are more careful with it than those whom inherit one.

 

Be proud. You are not the momentary whim of a careless creator. You are a manifestation of no force but mine, of no love but mine.

You were made for a purpose.

I have never lost faith in you and I made no further effort to improve on you.

 

For how could I improve on a miracle?

 

You were a marvel to behold and I was pleased. I gave you this world and dominion over it. Then, to enable you to reach your full potential I placed my hand upon you and endowed you with powers unknown to any other creature in the universe, even unto this day.

 

I gave you the power to think.

I gave you the power to love.

I gave you the power to will.

I gave you the power to laugh.

I gave you the power to imagine.

I gave you the power to create.

I gave you the power to plan.

I gave you the power to speak.

I gave you the power to pray.

 

My pride in you knows no bounds. You are my ultimate creation.

My greatest miracle.

A complete living being.

One who can adjust to any climate, any hardship, any challenge. One who can manage his own destiny without any interference from me. One who can translate a sensation or perception, not by instinct, but by thought and deliberation into whatever action is best for himself and all humanity.

 

I gave you one more power.

A power so great that not even my angels possess it.

 

I gave you the power to choose.

 

With this gift, I placed you even above my angels… for angels are not free to choose sin.

 

I gave you complete control over your destiny. I asked you to determine for yourself, your own nature by exerting your own free will. You are free to fashion yourself in whatever form you prefer. You have the power to choose to degenerate into the lowest forms of life, and also the power, out of your soul’s judgement, to evolve into your highest form, which is divine.

 

What have you done with this tremendous force?

 

Look at yourself.

 

Think of the choices you have made in your life and recall, now, those bitter moments you would have fallen to your knees if only you had the opportunity to choose again.

 

Use wisely your power of choice.

 

Choose to love… rather than hate.

Choose to laugh… rather than cry.

Choose to create… rather than destroy.

Choose to persevere… rather than quit.

Choose to praise… rather than gossip.

Choose to heal… rather than wound.

Choose to give… rather than steal.

Choose to act… rather than procrastinate.

Choose to grow… rather than stagnate.

Choose to pray… rather than curse.

Choose to live… rather than die.

 

Now you know that your misfortunes were not my will, the power of your actions and thoughts, and their outcomes were your doing, not mine. My gifts of power were too great for your small nature. Now you have grown both taller and wiser and the fruits of all your positive efforts will be yours.

You are more than a human being.

You are a human becoming.

 

You are capable of great wonders.

Your potential is unlimited.

 

Who else, among my creatures, has mastered fire?

Who else, among my creatures, has conquered gravity, has traveled through space, overcome disease, famine, floods, hurricanes and droughts?

 

Never demean yourself again!

 

Never settle for the crumbs of life!

 

Never hide your talents, from this day forward.

 

Remember, a child says, “When I am big.”

A teenager says, “When I grow up.”

A grownup says, “When I get married.”

An adult says, “When I retire.”

And then, retirement comes and you look back over your life and somehow it seems you have missed it and its gone.

 

Enjoy this day, today… and tomorrow, tomorrow.

 

But just as before… you can choose failure and despair or success and happiness.

 

The choice is yours. The choice is exclusively yours. I can only watch, as before… in pride… or sorrow.

 

Remember to always count your blessings, proclaim your rarity, go the extra mile and use wisely your power of choice.

 

And one more thing… do all things with love… love for yourself, love for all others, and love for me.

 

Now wipe away your tears.

Reach out, grasp my hand and stand straight.

 

And always remember…

 

YOU ARE THE GREATEST MIRACLE IN THE WORLD!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Which Way Is Up?

I have some things spiraling out of control in my life right now. I’m not sure if the spiral is going down or up… but I’m thinking that all great change comes after the worst upheaval.

I also believe that even when bad things happen, God uses those very things to propel us to our highest purpose.

No worries, I’m hanging in there and of course, keeping my sense of humor.

Much love,

Erin

 

 

Part 3: Tales From The Mall Kiosk, Are There Angels Among Us?

I was living in North Carolina when I worked at the kiosk. After leaving my marriage, I moved into my first apartment with the custody of my three boys. When I say that starting over was tough and money was tight, I mean it. It was always a struggle to meet all of our basic needs. I worked hard and there were times when I had no idea how I was going to pull off paying all of the bills.

One particular morning, I woke up worrying about how I was going to pay a bill that was due the following day, in the amount of $50.00. Fifty dollars! That’s how tight it was.

I said a small, yet powerful, prayer I had said many times before, in various situations…

“God, make me a way when there is no way.”

Then I went off to work.

I was alone, working the 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM shift at my friend’s water massage kiosk.

It was after 8:00 PM when a man approached the kiosk and asked about purchasing a massage for his wife.

“Would your wife like to try the water massage?” I asked.

“She isn’t here,” he replied.

When it was slow, we often gave someone a free massage so that people would see the water massage machine in action. This would lead to a small crowd forming and ultimately other people wanting to try the massage machine too.

“Would you like to try a free massage?” I asked.

“Sure,” the man replied.

As we talked, I was overwhelmed by a sense of his kindness and compassion. I liked the way it felt to be around him. It was a strange feeling, one that I still can’t fully explain.

He was interesting to me. I couldn’t place his age or put a number on it at all. His hair was very short, even shaved, and light in color. His most outstanding feature was his eyes. They were very different from anything that I had ever seen before – they were almost clear.

He took off his shoes and I set the massage for fifteen minutes.

It was then, while he was getting his massage, that I realized that the mall was almost vacant during the time we had spent together so far.

What time was it anyway? Everything felt very surreal… yet I had no idea why.

The water machine stopped and I lifted the lid.

“How was it?” I asked.

“It was great!” He replied with a smile, as he put his shoes back on.

I couldn’t stop looking at his eyes.

“Would you like to be on our mailing list?” I asked. “Maybe you could bring your wife by one day. We have specials.”

‘Okay.” He said.

“What’s your email address?” I asked, handing him a pen.

He didn’t take the pen, but blurted out an email that ended with icloud.com.

I wrote it down and thanked him.

When he turned to leave, he looked me in the eye and said, “It was nice to meet you Erin,” as he slipped a tip into my hand.

“Nice to meet you, too,” I said, as I watched him walk away… wait, I didn’t even get his name.

I looked down at the paper where I had written his email address. Generic. No name there.

As if on cue, the traffic in the mall picked up.

I slowly uncurled my hand to expose what I thought was a dollar bill.

Fifty dollars.

I glanced up and I saw him standing quite still watching me from the landing before the stairs, with the busy shoppers circling and passing by.

He had a presence, I thought as a tear slid down my cheek.

I didn’t want him to leave.

I wanted to thank him again.

I left the kiosk unattended and ran up to him.

I hugged him and whispered, “Thank you.” in his ear.

It was like he knew.

He wrapped his arms around me and hugged me back.

It didn’t feel weird to hug a stranger… especially not this one, it felt like home.

I turned and walked back to the kiosk, questioning my own sanity, what had just happened and why I ran to embrace a total stranger who stood there in the crowd like he was waiting for me, like he knew it was exactly what I needed.

Back at the kiosk, I looked toward the stairs.

He was gone.

My eyes searched the crowds in every direction, he was nowhere to be found.

When I told my friend about this experience, she said, “Check the email. I bet you it doesn’t exist.”

I did. She was right. It didn’t.

Take from this story what you want.

I know what I believe.

And I know I will never forget those eyes.

 

The grand finale.

Part 4: Tales From The Mall Kiosk, The Psychic

 

Spoiler alert: I’m about to explain it all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Center of Things

I originally started my blog in June of 2016, after only three years of talking about it. One of my first posts was called “Boys, Boys, Boys.” It is a very funny story that unfortunately took place when my father was ill. While I was typing on my laptop, I inadvertently hit something that deleted a good part of my post. I was frustrated and told myself that I would get back to it. Now, if you’re a writer and this has ever happened to you, I know you understand the feeling of not wanting to go back and recreate something you already created.

Well, that was June, the months pasted. (July, August, September) and I never got back to it. My family and friends kept asking me again and again if I was writing. “I know, I’m going to.” I’d reply. (October, November, December) My fiance’ John would encourage me to write…I would say I was going to and then I wouldn’t do it. I think it was certainly the idea of recreating what I had already written, but it was more revisiting a very difficult time in my life when my dad was dying.

One day in January, my mother sent me a book called Write For Life by Sheppard B. Kominars, PhD.

Write for Life: Healing Body, Mind, & Spirit through Journal Writing by [Kominars, Sheppard B.]

As I opened the book and flipped through the pages, I found a paper tucked in the back. I unfolded the paper to reveal the title, “The Center of Things.” I read the article out loud and by the time I got to the end I was crying. The Center of Things was the column that my late Aunt Betty wrote for a New Hampshire newspaper.

I called my mother and asked her if she knew that a copy of one of Aunt Betty’s columns was tucked in the book that she gave me. My mother had no idea, in fact, my mother told me she had two copies of Write for Life. She told my sister that she could take whichever one she wanted and the one that was left was for me.

After I hung up the phone, I couldn’t stop thinking about what my mother said. How could it be that I got the copy of the book with Aunt Betty’s column in it? My Aunt Betty was an amazing person and a wonderful writer. She had a great sense of humor and it certainly came through in her writing. When I was living in North Carolina, we used to talk on the phone and we would email each other things that we each had written. Aunt Betty took such pleasure in reading my stories (and I in hers). She would tell me that I was talented and she encouraged me to write more. I love my Aunt Betty and I miss her so much. What I wouldn’t give to have that time with her back. That night, I fell asleep with thoughts of my Aunt.

I woke up and looked at the clock, 3:33 AM. I was wide awake. I tried to fall back asleep but I couldn’t. Now this may sound a bit out there to some of you, but it is said that the best time to connect with spirit is between 2 and 4 AM. This crossed my mind. Why did I suddenly wake up? I mean, I am not a light sleeper and I enjoy my sleep. If you’re thinking I’m a little off my rocker at this point, let me just go ahead and tip the rocker right over…It also hadn’t gone unnoticed to me that the numbers on the clock were 3:33. It is said that 11:11 and times with repeating numbers are angel signs, I thought.

Feeling like I was over thinking things and maybe feeling a bit crazy and unsettled, I grabbed the book my mother had sent and began to read. As I read Write for Life, I was fascinated with what it had to say about the power of writing and all of the positive affects it can have on a person’s health, well-being and life.

After I completed the first chapter I closed the book and sat in silence. It was so calm, so still and so quiet in the house this time of the morning.

I slowly opened my laptop, hit the power button, logged into my blog site, and began to write. I finished writing Boys, Boys, Boys and I wrote several more posts in the days that followed.

I have always believed that there are no coincidences in life. I also believe that my beloved Aunt Betty is always there cheering me on, encouraging me to write.

And here’s some food for thought…

Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous. - Albert Einstein

 

Take time to notice and even act on the coincidences that life presents, you may be surprised by the places that they lead you,

Erin Cooper Reed